I can’t make up my mind whether this is a beetle or an attractor. Leisenring must have had some trouble deciding on the pattern as well. Brown hackle? Or red hackle? Ah, what the heck. While we’re pondering these delicious mysteries, let’s go with this: the Brown or Red Hackle looks like something that’s alive and good to eat.
Brown or Red Hackle
Hook: Dry or wet fly, 12-14
Silk: Crimson or claret
Hackle: Red furnace
Rib: Narrow gold tinsel
Body: Bronze peacock herl
I have a nice reddish brown Whiting wet fly hen neck. It’s more badger (feathers with a dark center, lighter toward the tips) than furnace (dark center, lighter middle, dark tips) but it’s close enough. I used two strands of herl to wind the body, and I used the technique of pressure from the thread in front of the herl to make a nice, compact wind (you can see that technique in Tim Flagler’s excellent Squirrel and Herl video.)
A short tour through the art form that features classic wingless wet fly patterns developed by James Leisenring and others. This clip will be part of my revamped “Wet Flies 101” presentation.
The sulphur hatch seems a long way off on this frigid January day. Still, an angler can dream…